Monday, 26 August 2013

Baubles, Bangles and Beads

Well this post is actually just about baubles and beads - but the Frank Sinatra song just popped into my head and I couldn't resist it! If you want all the lyrics then they are here

Baubles, bangles, hear how they jing, jinga-linga
Baubles, bangles, bright shiny beads
Sparkles, spangles, your heart will sing, singa-linga
Wearin' baubles, bangles and beads

The black-busted bauble holder!

Now if you are like I used to be then you will have a scrambled collection of necklaces etc all tied up in knots and not easy to find let alone extracate from the pile. One day I had a brainwave (rare!) and now my jools are organised so that I can see them at a glance. So now I sing, singa-linga when choosing what baubles, (bangles) and bright shiny beads to put around my neck!

Jools tucked behind the door just waiting to be chosen
If you like the idea then off you trot to the harware shop to find the hooks (I found them in the picture hanging department!), then find a nook on the wall, take a hammer and bang it's done. But before banging I suggest that you lay them out to 'create' a design so you know where to put the hooks. Then 'voila' you too will have the pleasure of choosing your necklace treasures easily. And you'll find you you'll wear them more because they're so easy to find!

And top off your collection. The 'Asian piece' above mine I found it in a drawer at home. If I recall it was part of a shelf at my parents home. Sadly this is all that is left but I rather like my collection having a 'lid'!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Making up in Myanmar!

Now don't get excited this is not about kissing and making up - although perhaps if you are considered beautiful with splodges of white 'makeup' on your face then kissing is part of the deal!

A typical Myanmar splodge
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the woman of Myanmar are admired for their beauty especially when they put what I would consider splodges on their faces. Beauty is certainly a funny thing.
If you have straight hair you want curly
If you have curly hair you want straight
If you have dark skin you want light
If you have light skin you want dark
And so on and so on
Preparing a take-home salad mix
We in the west spend a fortune on lotions and potions, replumping, lifting and separating, tanning - well I could go on. For over 2000 years in Myanmar this 'paste' has been their natural sunscreen and the women take pride in covering parts of their face - and arms with Thanaka. It is made by grinding the bark, wood or even roots of the Thanaka tree with a small amount of water. As a sunscreen it is interesting that they don't cover their entire face - just their cheeks. (It's my nose that needs to be covered in the sun!) The most stylish seems to be in the shape of a leaf. It apparantly has a cooling effect and helps to remove acne and promotes smoothe skin. I would want to at least smooth it out over my entire face but that doesn't seem to be the way. What one thinks is ugly another thinks is beautiful - and the men admire it I am told!

Smoking a cheroot - I'll take the 15th Thanaka log on the right please!

Girls just gotta have fun - and think how beautiful their skin will be as they age!
If we started grinding the bark of trees and mixing it with water rather than buying expensive sunscreen and lotions and potions it would put the large cosmetics companies out of business.

Do you find the splodges attractive? Do they make the women look 'hot'?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Left is Right

Today is left handers day! And you thought I was going to talk about the current election campaign! So do keep reading as this post has NOTHING - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING - to do with the election - because in my opinion neither left nor the right are right!

As a 'famed' left hander it's nice to think that we have a day to celebrate being the 'odd one out' - we are members of the 1-in-10 club. We 'oldies' have managed through school with dipped pens - and as a special compensation - a blotter to learn to write although many who have seen my writing would firmly disagree that it is in fact writing. We're considered a creative bunch. And I'd have to agree with that!

I was asked the other day why I wear my watch on my right wrist. Of course the right-hander who asked me wore his watch on his left wrist! I'm not clever enough to wear a watch, bracelets and other trinkets and hold a pen and write all at the same time. The clatter would be too noisy for me to think!
looks a bit awkward doesn't it?!
Many years ago - in one of my many former lives - I thought I would open a shop selling goods for left handers. Now you right handers won't understand this - but in those days there were so many 'tools' that were made for you right handers that made our lefties life difficult. Like the cord of the iron being placed on the right handers side (they are now placed in the middle) or the scissors whose handles are moulded 'right handed' (still a problem) and knives that cut for right handers (still a problem). It brings back memories of my favourite aunt. Cutting a perfect slice of bread for her was a difficult task. Not only did she have a 'right-handed cutting knife' (serrations on the wrong side!) meaning she cut at an unusual angle but she also had a husband who would be sent into a lather as he then needed to 'straighten' the cut only to have her 'angle' it again. This angling and straightening went on for over 40 years!  Might I add with good humour (I think!) Of course these days she wouldn't have a problem - slicing is done in the factory or bakery! He would be pleased! No wedges one end and thin bits the other!

Having decided to open a shop I then needed to register a name. Off I went to the Business Registration office. I wanted to register The Left Handed Shop. I sat and waited in the queue with others registering such exciting names as AAA Towing, and finally my name was called over the airwaves. "The Left Handed Shop". A room full of people turned and watched as this 'weird freak' trotted up to the counter with expectation in her eyes. "Taken" said the 'teller' adding no smile, recognition or humour. "Can I try another name" I asked. "Yes" he replied sighing "Well I'll have Left is Right" I replied! Back in the queue I went as he consulted the filing cabinet of names (no computers then!). More AAA Dresses, AAA every other boring name continued until yet again I was 'shamed' as he called "Left is Right". More turning of heads as I swept to the counter. My 'teller' obviously hated his job (who wouldn't with so many boring business names) and without a smile he said "Yes you can have that name". He asked me to sign for it, and then he signed - with his - LEFT HAND. "Oh you are like me" I said. No response. I fled the building. He's probably still working there!

After much thought I decided not to proceed with my idea. And perhaps that was the right (left) decision! Makers of most quality goods must have heard we 'lefties' cry. After all the iron is now 'multi-handed'.

I'm a leftie in 99% of the things I do and those that I don't are surprising. I did of course have (repeat have) a great left-handed serve (as does Rafael Nadal and Tony Roche just to name a couple) but surprisingly I play golf right-handed. Play being the operative word! Just as surprisingly my mother who was a rightie played golf left-handed!? The only other things I do right handed are knitting (my mother couldn't teach herself to knit inside out - 'cos that's what it looks like) and to use a knife and fork the 'correct right-handed way'. That's it. 

I'm disappointed that left comes from the Anglo Saxon word lyft for weak or broken!! The word southpaw is often used for us. But I've never heard northpaw have you? Are you a southpaw? If so happy Lefthanded Day. What do you do right-handed (northpawed!) - if anything?

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Another Simple Olive Preserving Recipe

I have written about preserving olives in an earlier post
I have had a response ensuring me that this recipe is even better and easier!
So here it is! Over to you


1. Pick the olives black and have a large pot of boing water. Drop the olives in and remove immediately!
2. Put them on an old towel immediately as they will stain
3. Allow to dry overnight
4. Place in a container and add approx 50 gms salt per kilo of olives
5. Mix daily. By day 7 they will be sweet (yes they will!)
6. Leave on an exposed table overnight to dry - on a towel - (or if you just happen to have a wood fired oven nearby (!) place the olives in when the oven is almost cold and leave overnight
7. Pack in jars with olive oil and dry red chillis or else rosemary, garlic - you choose
That's it!
Happy bottling

Monday, 5 August 2013

Gondwana Land

I'm stretching the envelope here by calling this post Gondwana so I hope you will forgive me and come along for the ride! It wasn't long ago - just 300-500 million years ago that Gondwana included most of the landmasses in today's Southern Hemisphere, including Antarctica, South America, Africa, the Australian continent as well as the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent, which have now moved entirely into the Northern Hermisphere. (Ancient Australian History)

I hope you have been watching the fascinating series on ABC entitled 'First Footprints' an astounding look at our indigenous ancestors and our land. Watching the land mass break with Tasmania and also Papua New Guinea and the ramifications of those separations for the indigenous inhabitants was fascinating.  If you have missed an episode then see them on ABC iview here  It's a must see - I highly recommend it. The 4 episodes covered:
Episode 1: The super nomads - 50,000 - 30,000 years ago
Episode 2: The great drought - 30,000 - 15,000 years ago
Episode 3: The great flood - 18,000 - 5,000 years ago
Episode 4: The biggest estate - 9,000 - 1788

And so with all of the above in mind I was driving the other day and spied 'Gondwana land' in the trunk of a tree. Tasmania has not yet split from the mainland! My friend kindly hung out the window to take a shot. Can you see Australia/Tasmania imprinted (probably by a car) into the trunk of the tree? (Let you imagination run free!)
Gondwana Land in a tall oak tree!
Well done to the photographer - we were in a moving car!